Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Past Curfew

"I don't think we can continue like this much longer," the interrogator said frankly.

Across the table, Marin spat to clear the blood from his mouth. "Yeah," he replied hoarsely, "you're probably right. So lay off and please... just ask me something. Anything."

The interrogator only stared across the table. His wrist tilted up and down, tapping the hard plastic truncheon against the thick, varnished wood. One tap a second, for fifteen seconds. And then, on the sixteenth second, with a snap of the interrogator's wrist, the truncheon flipped through the air and thudded into Marin's eye. Marin yelped in surprise and pain, cringing as best he could. The handcuffs binding him to the folding chair rattled as he flinched against them.

"Answer the question!" bellowed the interrogator, standing suddenly. His chair groaned backwards across the concrete, rocking as it hit the floor drain.

"What question? You haven't said-"

"Your blood screen came back before I came in here," the interrogator said in a calm, even voice. "You're psychic. I know you can read my mind, so read."

Marin shuddered at the sudden change in tone. He lifted his head slowly, leveling a swollen eye at the tall, thick man in uniform across from him. "I'm not a telepath."

The interrogator stood quite still for a moment, then walked, step by step, across the room, to retrieve his truncheon. "Psychics have a strict curfew, and you did not have a pass. You were completely unauthorized to be out." He stooped and picked up the plastic club.

"Please, I'm-"

"I'm going to ask one more time. You'd better listen, and answer carefully."

From outside the sound-insulated room, there came sounds of a commotion. The interrogator's eyes glanced to the door, but quickly refocused on Marin.

Marin turned and stared at the door. Distractedly, he said, "I'm not a telepath."

The interrogator tightened his grip. "Sounds like you wanna waive your last chance."

And then, Marin heard it clearly. We're here, said the voice. Now.

"Finally," Marin said, and glared at the interrogator. The truncheon, as though shoved by invisible hands, leapt upward and rammed into the uniformed man's jaw. He stumbled backwards into the table, and the truncheon flew from his hand and around behind him. It spun viciously, clubbing the interrogator's shoulders and neck until he buckled and fell.

The weakest link of the chain of Marin's handcuffs split, and Marin stood. The truncheon clattered to the ground, and Marin gritted his teeth. Moaning aloud, the interrogator hovered off the floor, hands raised to defend himself. Marin rubbed his head with one hand and pointed at the interrogator with the other.

"Not a telepath," he said. And with a snap of his wrist, the man in uniform hurtled out of the unbarred window, scattering glass on the interrogation room floor. He did not scream.

Come on, Marin. We need you out here.

Marin stared at the jagged windowpane until he heard the thump. Then, he beckoned to the door, which opened to him. He stepped out of the interrogation room, to join the revolt.


Blogger Third said...

hooray for psychic revolution!

5:42 PM  
Blogger Third said...

i didn't even realize the problem with this story, which i love, until i read it again tonight for the umpteenth time. Thing is, interrogations are always conducted with supervision. i'll just assume the revolution got the guys behind the glass first.

5:40 PM  

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